Lifestyle indicators in Niagara

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The lifestyle indicators for Niagara, 2009 are: 

Tobacco use

30.1% of Niagara adults over the age of 20 reported smoking daily or occasionally. This is significantly higher compared to the percentage of adults that reported smoking daily or occasionally in Ontario (22.5%).

Physical activity

For physical activity, Niagara has a higher percentage of active adults than that of Ontario. 59.1% of Niagara residents over the age of 20 are moderately or very active compared to 49.0% in Ontario. Interestingly, for both Niagara and Ontario, the percentage of active adults is much lower than the percentage of active youth, indicating that physical activity decreases as age increases.

Fruit and vegetable consumption

38.4% of Niagara residents aged 12 or older consume fruits and vegetables more than five times daily.  This is slightly lower to the percentage for Ontario (43.7%).

Life stress

In Niagara, 24.8% of people aged 20+ report that most days are quite stressful or extremely stressful. This is very similar to that of Ontario (25.0%).

Heavy alcohol consumption

Niagara has a much higher adult population that participates in high risk drinking. 51.6% of Niagara adults over the age of 20 report having consumed 5 or more drinks on at least one occasion in the past year; whereas, 46.7% of Ontarians over the age of 20 have reported the same.

Figure 7.1 Health Practices in Niagara and Ontario 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey 4.1, 2009, Statistics Canada, Share File, Ontario MOHLTC.

Rating of perceived health status … From 2005 to 2009, self perceived health status among those ages 20+ living in Niagara, Ontario and Canada all were similar.  Approximately 60% rated their health status as either very good or excellent when compared to those similar in age.

Rating of perceived mental health … Among those living in Niagara, Ontario and Canada from 2005 to 2009, rating of self perceived mental health was similar with approximately 74% indicating their mental health was either good or excellent compared to those similar in age.

Rating of life satisfaction:  For those living in Niagara, Ontario and Canada, rating of life satisfaction as similar among those ages 20 years and over.  Approximately 85% indicated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their life.

Table 7.1. Perceived health status

Niagara Ontario Canada
Percentage of population ages 20+ who report having ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ perceived health status 61.3 61.6 60.3
Percentage of population ages 20+ who report having good mental health 75.0 73.9 73.9
Percentage of population ages 20+ who report being very satisfied or satisfied with life 87.3 85.6 92.1

 

Healthy lifestyle indicators:  Health is a resource that enables people to lead  socially and economically productive lives. The Government of Ontario developed the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport in 2005 to focus on ways that Ontarians can lead healthier lives and to deliver programs to promote healthy choices and healthy lifestyles.

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) was created in 1991 to examine health practices of Canadians at a local level.  A glimpse on healthy lifestyle practices in Niagara is outlined  by a few indicators listed below. While our population has seen decreases in smoking practices, we  still remain  higher than that of Ontario. Also, in Niagara, we are slightly lower than Ontario for flu shot coverage and as of 2009 we are slightly lower for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Figure 7.2 Healthy Lifestyle Indicators in Niagara 2005-2009 (Age Standardized)

 

 

Source: Source: Canadian Community Health Survey 2005-2009, Statistics Canada, Share File, Ontario MOHLTC.

Emerging Activity: The Healthy Living Niagara committee conducted research on health indicators in Niagara and prepared a report and sponsored a forum in February, 2011 to educate the region and to mobilize action plans for policy changes. Source: www.healthylivingniagara.com

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